I've been making some observations at work lately-- now, work is a very threating place for me. It's a very production and quality oriented (think: factory) job, where if you make a mistake it's always and immediately documented. There are very well written disciplinary procedures for what to do if you don't meet standards (ie, BOHICA), but there are no procedures for recognizing people who do. In part because of automation, and in part because of my department's general trend towards getting small the past couple of years, I'm worried about my job. I'm already loaned out to a different department. The job I'm detailed into could honestly be automated out of existence. If that happens, I'm history-- my getting tagged to do a different job happened instead of laying me off. So there's likely nowhere else for me to go and stay within the company. Meaning, that I have a lot of work related stress even though my job is extremely boring and repetetive.
Work is also noisy as hell. My co-workers do not shut up. Ever. At any given time I can hear 3-4 different conversations going on at once. I sit next to an industrial size printer copier that literally runs all day, which is noisy enough-- but then people congregate around it and yammer while they're waiting for their 300 page documents to print. It's a place where there's so much clashing noise that I can't think to begin with, plus I'm afraid of getting in trouble, plus I tend to be tired and stressed (and so very hyperaware).
The last straw is not so much that it's too damn noisy and loud, and I'm not comfortable with it-- it's that the stuff people are talking about doesn't help. Everyone's sex life, bills, kids, eating habits, health problems, and issues are aired out all the time. It's like unmoderated group therapy for chimpanzees. Whatever stress I have to think about is compounded by hearing about everyone else's problems, some of which I've had (and would rather not be reminded of all day, thanks). Sometimes I just want to scream "Shut the F up! You don't have problems, you just think you do!", but I know it won't help and they won't get it.
If you've ever seen a movie shot where the world spins around your head so fast it all blurs together, and you end up screaming-- and at the same time, you're reliving every bad day you've ever had through flashbacks-- that's what it feels like when I'm at work.
Which is what brings me to the conclusion that there are certain environments-- one of which is the chaos, noise, and pressure that is my full time job-- that I need to stay out of. Although I have never dealt with alcoholism (thank goodness), I imagine it's the same as staying out of a bar. Certain environments are just not safe and comfortable places for some people.
However (comma), one also has to consider that said job is paying for my rent, utilities, and food. I can't just tell work to F off and expect to have a place to live for long. And right now, I'm swamped with school for another week; so I have to put up with it for a little while, and then hopefully I'll have time to seriously look for something better. Calmer. Quieter.